MOJAVE, Calif. – Today, Virgin Galactic, the world’s first commercial spaceline, which is owned by Sir Richard Branson’s Virgin Group and Abu Dhabi’s aabar Investments PJS, successfully completed the third rocket-powered supersonic flight of its passenger carrying reusable space vehicle, SpaceShipTwo (SS2). In command on the flight deck of SS2 for the first time under rocket power was Virgin Galactic’s Chief Pilot Dave Mackay. Mackay, along with Scaled Composites’ (Scaled) Test Pilot Mark Stucky, tested the spaceship’s Reaction Control System (RCS) and the newly installed thermal protection coating on the vehicle’s tail booms. All of the test objectives were successfully completed.Read More
Monthly Archives January 2014
The $671 Million MAVEN spacecraft separated from the Atlas Centaur upper stage some 52 minutes after liftoff, unfurled its wing like solar panels to produce life giving power and thus began a 10 month .“We’re currently about 14,000 miles away from Earth and heading out to the Red Planet right now,” said MAVEN Project Manager David Mitchell of NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center at the briefing, after the 5,400-pound spacecraft had been soaring through space for barely two and a half hours.“The first trajectory correction maneuver (TCM) is set for Dec. 3,” added Mitchell. There are a minimum of four TCM’s to ensure that the majestic probe remains precisely.Read More
Another NASA commercial space partner officially has begun contracted cargo flights to the International Space Station. Dozens of new NASA investigations and other science experiments from across the country are headed to the station aboard Orbital Sciences Corp.’s Cygnus spacecraft as part of the agency’s commercial partnerships with U.S. aerospace companies.
The launch aboard Orbital’s Antares rocket took place from NASA’s Wallop’s Flight Facility in Virginia Thursday, at 1:07 p.m. EST.
The Orbital-1 mission began the company’s first contracted cargo delivery flight to the station through a $1.9 billion NASA Commercial Resupply Services contract. Orbital will fly at least eight cargo missions to the space station through 2016.
“Today’s launch demonstrates how our strategic investments in...Read More